Musical hit is still great fun but quite racy, has sexism.
Based on 56 reviews
Based on 234 reviews
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Grease is based on the same-named 1971 musical. It's lots of fun but full of racy content, and you might want to give it a quick re-watch before showing it to kids to make sure you remember exactly what they'll be seeing -- especially the outdated gender roles (teen boys are obsessed with sex, and girls only talk about their looks and boys). Characters smoke, drink, and spike the punch at the school dance. Teens use rude, often sexual gestures and use words like "ass," "crap," "weenie," "flog your log," etc. The song "Greased Lightning" has profanity including "t-t," "s--t," and "p---y wagon." Characters make out and have sex off-screen (characters discuss a broken condom, and a girl thinks she's pregnant). Naked bottoms are seen when characters moon a passing car and, later, a TV camera. A teen draws a switchblade in preparation for a rumble, but most violence is of the sexual variety. Frequent sexual harassment is excused as "boys will be boys," and an adult makes a pass at a high school student at a dance and puts a roofie in her soda, which is played for laughs. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John star.
Most adult jokes will go over kids heads anyway
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Drinking, sex, pregnancy - but 1977's version
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What's the Story?
In GREASE, it's the 1950s, and Danny Zuko (John Travolta) and Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John) are two teens coming off a heady summer romance. Little do they know that their senior year will find them both at Rydell High School -- but on opposite sides of the subculture spectrum, with Danny the leader of a greaser gang and Sandy the "good girl" who just moved to town. Will the two be able to keep their love going, or does reality have something else in mind for them?
Is It Any Good?
Though it's by no means an accurate portrayal of life in the 1950s, this popular musical delivers an entertaining mix of singing, dancing, and comedy. Grease -- which won a People's Choice Award in 1979 -- is hard to beat. It covers iconic American high school moments: the big pep rally, the school dance, worrying about image, and, of course, falling in love. And it's the most profitable movie musical of all time, with its biggest hit, "Summer Nights," still a standard at weddings, karaoke parties, and dances. Although the story is somewhat weak, the music and contagious energy more than make up for it, as do stellar performances by Travolta, Newton-John, Stockard Channing, and Jeff Conaway. Parents will especially enjoy seeing Travolta in his early days (boy, can he dance!).
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why Grease is still so popular. What makes it a classic? What do you think of revivals/continuations like Grease: Live! and Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies?
Do the movie's themes still resonate today, or do they feel dated?
Do you think Danny and Sandy's romance falls into gender stereotypes, or does the film subvert them?
How do you feel about the way Danny and Sandy change parts of themselves to fit what they think the other person wants? Do they go too far? Where's the line between standing up for yourself, or compromising to make a relationship work, and how do you know when you've crossed it?
- In theaters: June 16, 1978
- On DVD or streaming: June 3, 2002
- Cast: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing
- Director: Randal Kleiser
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Musical
- Topics: High School, Music and Sing-Along
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some sexual content
- Last updated: March 21, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
High School Musical
A modern-day Grease for tweens.
Hip-shaking guilty pleasure has mature themes, racy scenes.
Teen Beach Movie
Heavily marketed musical is wholesome fun for tweens.
Energetic Disney movie's villains make likable role models.
For kids who love musicals
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